4 Important Things to Know About Google Answer Boxes
Google's top priority has always been to deliver the most useful, relevant results to its users. However, in recent years, the search engine powerhouse has adapted to the fact that many searchers prefer a convenient and concise information consumption experience. This desire has increased along with the rise in on-the-go voice searches.
In response, Google has increased its integration of "Answer Boxes" above all other listings on its search engine results pages. These short responses to search queries often allow the user to find an answer without the need to click through to another page.
The following is a look at several important things you, as a marketer, need to know about Google Answer Boxes.
They are Commonplace
A lot of studies have been conducted in the last couple years to assess the prominence of answer box execution. Though results vary, one large-scale study recently asserted that 31.4 percent of search queries generated a results page that included an answer box.
Google Has the Inside Track
Before contemplating strategies for leveraging answer boxes, recognize that Google ultimately has control of delivery. When a particular search requires a response that Google can source on its own, external content providers are left out of the mix. Thus, trying to compete with Google for an answer box placement is often a pointless battle.
Featured Snippet Win
Google's goal in its answer box is to give the user a concise, but a thorough response to a query that is often submitted on-the-go. Thus, external providers that do get this high-priority placement can execute to that end.
Rand Fishkin of Moz recently discussed three types of rich snippets that contribute to success in answer box placement. These features are brief paragraphs, lists, and tables. Even if you create a long page of content targeting a particular problem or query, you can integrate a summary, list, or table to target the user looking for fast, convenient access. Add a key points' list or fact table, for instance.
Second-Best is Often Okay
Back to the point about letting Google have its day; sometimes your best strategy is to go after position number one in the SERP (answer boxes are known as "position 0"). As you evaluate existing search results, look at article titles, descriptions, and content that appears just below the answer box.
By targeting these next-highest organic positions, you still have the potential to drive steady traffic. Some users will see your listing, and naturally, desire more in-depth information that follows up on the original search.
Integration of answer boxes into SERP is only likely to escalate in coming years. Therefore, it is important that you consider them in your content marketing and SEO planning.
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